Galapagos at the crossroads: pirates, biologists, tourists and creationists battle for Darwin's cradle of evolution.

Galapagos at the crossroads: pirates, biologists, tourists and creationists battle for Darwin's cradle of evolution. Carol Ann Bassett.

Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2009. Octavo, dustwrapper, map.

This book challenges the world view that the Galapagos as a pristine natural environment, famed for its rare species of flora and fauna. Here, Bassett takes a hard look at the real story that the islands are in jeopardy from poaching, overdevelopment, invasive species, increased visitation and more. The book is organised in chapters, each of which focuses on a specific person or people working in the field to either exploit or protect the natural resources in the Galapagos. The story that unfolds is the clash in values between these sometimes quirky individuals and their activities. This mosaic of stories, told with wit, passion, and grace, serves as a microcosm of the Earth itself, a perfect example of how the natural world can be easily thrown off balance.

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